2013-02-22 / Front Page

Riots Advance, Capers Fall in Western Maine Boys Basketball Semifinals

By Jack Flagler
Staff Writer

South Portland players and fans celebrate the Riots' 49-41 victory of Portland in the Western Maine Class A semifinals on Wendesday, Feb. 20. South Portland will take on Bonny Eagle Saturday, Feb. 23 for the right to go to the state final. (Jack Flagler photo)South Portland players and fans celebrate the Riots' 49-41 victory of Portland in the Western Maine Class A semifinals on Wendesday, Feb. 20. South Portland will take on Bonny Eagle Saturday, Feb. 23 for the right to go to the state final. (Jack Flagler photo)

PORTLAND — Up by three points, with less than a minute remaining in the biggest game of his high school career, South Portland High School senior Calvin Carr stood under the hoop, wide open, waiting for an inbounds pass from the sideline.

Carr caught the pass from senior Conner MacVane and laid the ball in easily to give South Portland a 46-41 lead the Riots would not give up. The Riots defeated Portland 49-41 on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at the Cumberland County Civic Center. 

Carr said the Portland defenders had been double-teaming South Portland’s top scorer, Tanner Hyland, on out-of-bounds plays and letting Carr catch the ball to start the offense. When Carr started under the hoop instead of in the backcourt, the Bulldog defenders lost him. 

Carr said he was “pretty surprised” to catch the ball close to the rim with no defenders in sight. On the previous possession, Carr scored on a difficult driving layup that extended the Riot lead to three. He finished with seven points on three baskets.

“The coaches told me I needed to attack this week. For us to win, I was going to need to step my game up offensively,” Carr said.

The Red Riots came into the fourth quarter leading 35-28, as the Riots 2-3 zone defense successfully forced Portland into long jumpers, and Hyland shouldered the scoring load for much of the game. Hyland was the game’s top scorer, He scored seven baskets, three from long range, for 17 points.

However, early in the fourth, the jumpers started to fall for the Bulldogs. A 10-2 run to start the fourth put Portland up 38-37.

Hyland hit a long three-pointer to retake the lead for South Portland, but the Bulldogs stormed back again. Portland senior center Matt Talbot’s blocked shot started a fast break, and guard Nick Volger was fouled in transition. His foul shot put Portland up 41-40 with time running down, and the momentum had swung Portland’s way. That’s when Carr stepped up with his two consecutive hoops.

Hyland said the Riots’ confidence never wavered.

“I don’t have doubts with this team. Most of us have played together since sixth grade. We’re all so close and we know how to stay together. I’ll lead them as far as we can go and I thought everyone stepped up tonight and played big,” Hyland said.

Talbot led all Portland scorers with eight points. Portland hit six three-pointers in the game, but South Portland head coach Phil Conley said he was happy with his team’s effort defending the perimeter.

“When they made that run, we had guys up in their face. They have some very good shooters,” Conley said.

South Portland will play Bonny Eagle High School on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Civic Center for the right to take on Hampden Academy in the Class A state final. 

Jayvon Pitts-Young of Portland shoots over Calvin Carr of South Portland. Carr finished the game with seven points, including two consecutive buckets late in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory. Pitts-Young also finished the game with seven points. (Jack Flagler photo)Jayvon Pitts-Young of Portland shoots over Calvin Carr of South Portland. Carr finished the game with seven points, including two consecutive buckets late in the fourth quarter that sealed the victory. Pitts-Young also finished the game with seven points. (Jack Flagler photo)

Cape Elizabeth Falls to York

The Cape Elizabeth boys basketball team exceeded many expectations this year, but came up short against a athletic, tall and fast York team on Thursday, Feb. 21 in the Western Maine Class B semifinals.

York defeated Cape Elizabeth 58-35 in a game that never had its result in doubt. York led a 16-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and maintained a double-digit margin throughout the game.

Cape Elizabeth senior Chris Robicheaw led the team in scoring with 12 points, including two three-pointers. Senior York forward Aaron Todd led all scorers with 19 points, most of which came as transition layups or free throws, two aspects of the game in which the Wildcats excelled.

“We certainly didn’t play our best game of the season, and we were going to have to play our best game of the season tonight to win,” Cape Elizabeth head coach Jim Ray said. 

The Capers came into the game as heavy underdogs despite finishing one spot behind York in the heal point standings. Cape finished the season 14-6, while York pushed their record to 18-1. 

The spot in the Western Maine semifinals exceeded expectations from many media members and fans at the beginning of the season. Although Ray said he always expects a lot from his group, he was pleased with the team’s effort throughout the year. Cape finished 7-13 last season.

“I’m always pretty confident they’ll improve and they’ll compete. They did a good job, all of our games were tough,” Ray said.

“Last year we found a way to lose, this year we found a way to win our share of the close ones.”

Return to top